Some of us have been following the Danny Fenster story, a US journalist sentenced to 11 years in prison by the Myanmar government for alleged breaches to immigration and terrorism laws. Thankfully the latest news is that Fenster was released and should be back in the USA soon.
The blogmaster hesitates to use the word empathetic to hint at being able to understand the challenges of a Western journalist staying true to the mandate of the fourth estate working in a country like Myanmar. It must take unswerving commitment and dedication to the cause – ‘truth to power’.
Why the musings from a lowly blogmaster this day? We live in a world where every cause has a strident defender. It takes a special person with the courage to do what is right; to have the courage of their convictions. How do we as sensible people dispassionately negotiate win win positions where personal positions or narrow interest can accommodate the interest of the collective? After all, a quality whole is the sum of its parts.
How will we be able to nurture a wholesome society operating under an outmoded adversarial political system?
How is our system of parliamentary government relevant if checks and balances in the name of committees of parliament e.g. Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Committee of Privilege etc serve roles in the breach only?
How will we improve our governance system if Auditor General reports are routinely ignored by policymakers and lawmakers?
How can we defend that we live in a ‘free’ country if the justice system is systemically compromised by violating its role that “justice delayed is justice denied’? This includes key actors of the Barbados Bar Association and Disciplinary Committee who are officers of the Court.
Where is the will to stamp out growing lawlessness manifested on our roads by motorists, PSV sector etc? A sector by all accounts shrouded in an uncomplimentary sub culture.
More importantly, where is the will of the citizenry to demonstrate that we are an intelligent and educated people by understanding the importance of holding public officials accountable?
A prominent Barbadian is reputed to have said that one day Bajans will wake up and be unable to recognize the Barbados we live in. What will it take for Barbadians to stay true to the ideals of what is Barbados.
Our failure to educate citizens to think in a way that nurture a philosophical outlook has led us to where we are presently in a quagmire. We seem to be a people satisfied with meandering to an unknown destination fast. Unaware of the purpose of our existence because of a willingness to remain untethered to a philosophical mooring.
Are we there yet Bajans?